Not every win in the NHL has to be pretty. No one has learned that lesson more than the New York Rangers over the last couple of seasons.
Filip Chytil and the Kid Line continued their dominance but the Rangers outlasted a scrappy Vancouver Canucks team to a 4-3 final on Wednesday night.
“We’re finding ways to win like we did last season. Tonight was a seesaw battle but there was nothing easy.” head coach Gerard Gallant said after the win.
It certainly didn’t start out that way. New York’s scoring chances came early and often in the first period. Midway through the period though a breakaway opportunity between Vincent Trocheck and Chris Kreider resulted in an early 1-0 lead for the Rangers. The goal was Kreider’s 250th goal of the season, tying him with Mark Messier for seventh on the Rangers’ all-time list.
Kreider’s goal wasn’t the only score the Rangers would record early though. Minutes after the alternate captain got the scoring started, Filip Chytil continued his scorching hot run with his 19th goal of the season and his fifth straight game with a score.
“I would be happy if it continues…I love scoring goals. It’s a great feeling, but it’s a great feeling also cause we’re winning games.” Chytil explained.
Buzzing after one period, the Rangers turned to their top goaltender, Igor Shesterkin to preserve the lead.
As it has been for most of the year though, a New York win would not come easy. Late in the first, a Conor Garland laser shot got past Shesterkin for the Canucks first score of the night and gave the Blueshirts a 2-1 advantage after one.
Both teams would trade off second-period goals after Alexis Lafreniere scored in his second straight game but was quickly followed by Vasily Podkolzin’s first of the season to give the Rangers a slim 3-2 heading into the final frame.
Mika Zibanejad would deflect a Jacob Trouba shot for a 4-2 edge, but just 11 seconds later an Ellias Petterson score would leave New York scratching and claw to the finish line for their third win in a row.
“I think we’re doing something right. We can take away the last couple of games where, yeah, we aren’t playing our best hockey but sticking to what we’re doing is working.” K’Andre Miller said.
The Rangers will be back in action Friday night when they take on the Seattle Kraken to try and make it four wins in a row.
- It was the first start for Shesterkin in over two weeks. The reigning Vezina winner was last seen on the ice in a 3-2 overtime loss to Toronto north of the border and is in the top 10 across the league in wins and save percentage.
- Chytil’s 19th goal of the season wasn’t the only continued hot run on the Kid Line. Kaapo Kakko’s assist was his 16th of the year and the fifth time he’s recorded points in his last seven games. Lafreniere’s goal was also his fifth game recording a point in his last six appearances.
- K’Andre Miller had an assist in three of the four Rangers’ goals Wednesday night. It was the first three-point game of his career.